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Sharing that Peace

First Reading: Acts 19:1-8
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” He said, “How were you baptized?” They replied, “With the baptism of John.” Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Altogether there were about twelve men. He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm: PS 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab
Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth. God arises; his enemies are scattered, and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire. But the just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad and rejoice. Sing to God, chant praise to his name; whose name is the LORD. The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.

Gospel: John 16:29-33
The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.

ESV

2015-May18

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.

In our Catholic dorm Masses we used to drape our arms around each other’s shoulders and sing a sweet, slow round that led into the Lamb of God: Peace I leave with you, my friends, my friends. And I am with you till the end.

For years I stood and sang those harmonies next to the women who became my best friends. Only now do I see how those college friendships let us start to practice what adulthood would ask of us.

There were so many times we tried to speak peace to each other back then. Calm down; you can fix this; maybe you don’t have to break up. Take a deep breath; tell me the whole story; this class isn’t the end of the world. No matter how the test turns out, I’m here for you; let me know how I can help.

We were practicing being peace for each other. We were practicing the small ways we help lead each other back to the One whose love is peace.

Today I don’t have my best girlfriends on my right and my left every Sunday night in the chapel. But I still get to practice this peace every week at Mass.

That moment before communion when we turn and smile and shake hands? It’s not just a happy Catholic meet-and-greet. The Sign of Peace is a profound encounter with the risen Christ in each other—spouses and children, family and friends, strangers and sinners, all of us.

Just like we meet Him in the Word that is spoken and the bread that is broken, we also find Him in each other. We are reminded that He gave us peace, He left us peace, and He asked us to bring peace in His name.

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.

Just as He did for His disciples in today’s Gospel, now Jesus is talking to us plainly; now He is not using any figure of speech; now we realize that He knows everything and we do not need to question. Now we remember that the only true peace rests in God.

In the world we will have trouble. Of course we know this, even before He speaks this truth. But take courage, we remember. He has conquered the world.

Let us hear peace. Let us be peace. Let us share peace. Today, right here, right now. The peace that comes from Christ.

photo by Laura Jensen

Laura Kelly Fanucci is a mother, writer, and theological researcher. She and her husband are raising three little boys in the suburban wilds of Minnesota. You can find out more about her here.

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